Foundations

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The foundation is the most important part of any building.  A shaky foundation will lead to a shaky building.  A building can still stand with upside down wallpaper, or shabby carpets and small bathrooms, but a building won’t stand for long with a disintegrating foundation.  The psalmist understood this when he wrote:

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?  (Psalm 11:3  NKJV)

We’re living in a time when many foundations are being, if not destroyed, severely compromised by the rampant cynicism of our age.  Hands up, anybody, who still has faith in either political party in America?  Does anybody still hold the president/teachers/police officers/crossing guards/religious leaders in high regard?  See what I mean?   Through abuse, neglect or indifference the very foundations of our nation are crumbling.  From the national arenas of politics and culture to the local school board to your church’s board of elders, traditional institutions – foundations – are slowly fading away as more and more people disregard them, or even oppose them outright.

Even on the smallest level possible, the individual level, foundations are being destroyed.  For example, the character of the most innocent people in our society, the children, is being destroyed as they are spending less and less time with ever busier parents only to be raised by others.  Their character is being formed, in many cases, by strangers.

The psalmist clearly suggests that it is possible for any foundation to be destroyed.  When foundations are so destroyed, God suffers and God’s people suffer.  Once destroyed, can a foundation be repaired?  Nothing is impossible!  Thing is, though, the foundations can only be repaired by the righteous; the righteous are the only ones who can get the job done, with the Lord’s help.

There are certain “foundation stones” that are essential for a healthy person, family, community, and nation.  Let’s look at them briefly.

The foundation stone of Bible reading

This is the first and most important foundation stone.  The historical revisionists would like to eradicate any vestige of the Bible’s influence from the founding of America, but the truth is, the founders were all Bible-centered in their thinking.  That’s not to say all the founders were Christians, but they all, without exception, held the Bible in the highest regard.

And for good reason.  In the Bible can be found the fundamental truths of life, essential truths for a healthy body and soul.  These truths, when respected and practiced, will always produce a strong nation and strong character in individuals.  The objective truths of Scripture lead to a worth-while, purposeful life.

Like the old saying goes, “What goes in, will come out.”  Put another way, “You are what you eat.”  The world capitalizes on this.  The media feed us what they want us to think and eventually become.  We devour their propaganda, and without even knowing it we morph into their clones,  marching in lockstep to their ideals and values.  As more and more of us have lost the ability to critically think, we become like sheep.  How many false religions and cults practice the exact same tactics?  Our minds are bombarded all day long with deceptive words and images, designed to shape our character.  The question is, Who or what is shaping YOUR character?  

As Christians, we need to be careful what we read; we need to be careful what we are feeding our minds.  We should be as well-versed in passages of Scripture as we are in our ABC’s.  The Bible needs to be our manual for living; the textbook for our lives.

The foundation stone of respect

The attitude of so many today, from our president to the pickpocket that prowls the food court of your mall, is that the law is made to be broken.  That’s the kind of attitude of disrespect that destroys the foundations!  Disobedience to and disrespecting of parents opens wide the door to all other miscreant acts.  How seriously we take the admonitions of our parents and of the law of the land directly reflects on how seriously we take obedience to God.  We need to learn anew the importance to respecting the laws of the home and of the community and of the Lord.  The Bible has a lot to say about the valid place of authority in our lives and of the respect they deserve.  Respecting others, and especially those in positions of authority strengthens your character, your home, and the nation.

The foundation stones of loyalty and courtesy

Those two words might as well be from a foreign language in twenty-first century America.  Even among Christians, virtues like loyalty and courtesy are vanishing.  Common courtesy costs you nothing.  It takes a moment to express your appreciation to someone who has done you a good turn.  These days, loyalty is a rare find.  Spouses are disloyal to each other.  Employees could care less about their employers and vice versa, and it seems everybody wants to look out for themselves at the expense of others.  We’ve become a cold, crass society.

The foundation stones of holiness and honesty

These two characteristics are at the very heart of the Christian faith.  If these foundation stones are lost, all is lost.  The idea of “holiness” has become quaint when it ought to be the goal of every Christian.  We, as followers of Christ, need to make holy living as routine as brushing our teeth.  A holy person is not a freak, nor is he better than anybody else.  A holy person has made the pursuit of God and Godliness the primary purposes of his life.  Being a holy person involves faithful Bible reading, thinking right, acting right, being faithful in church attendance, and being a man or woman of your word.

Honesty with both God and man is lacking these days.  We are dishonest when we pray and when we give our offerings, and we are dishonest when dealing with other people.  The “little white lie” has become the norm.  We give our words and a moment later our pledge is forgotten.  No wonder the church has lost so much influence in the world.  Why should the world take us seriously when it can’t trust even our words?

We looked at just a handful of “foundation stones” that we, as believers, need to keep firmly in place in order to keep the foundation of our lives from being destroyed.  Let’s do what we can to remain strong; if we do our part, God will do His.  If, God forbid, your foundation needs a little work, don’t fret!  Repair it, with the help of God.  Whatever you do, make sure your foundation is strong and secure.  Only then will you be of use to God, your church, your community, your nation.

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